February 27, 2024

Costa Rica-Zambia, Canada-Australia predictions, picks by Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica

“Bear Bets” are real wagers that Chris “The Bear” Fallica is actually making.

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is heating up as the second week of group play is wrapping up — and you can watch all the action on FOX and the FOX Sports app.

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As for gambling on these matches, I’ll give you my best bets daily throughout the tournament. Basically, if I see an edge, and I’m betting on it, I’ll share it. I want us all to win!

I believe in transparency, so my tournament best bets record currently sits at 20-11, +$674. This is based on my wager amounts, with each being to win $100. But remember, you can always bet any amount you are comfortable with.

Let’s dive into the fun with a few bets I’m making for Day 12. 

Costa Rica vs. Zambia, 3 a.m. ET Monday, FOX and the FOX Sports app

Barbra Banda anytime goalscorer (+110)

Neither team will be moving on after being outscored by a combined 15-0 in their matches vs. Japan and Spain. So this one should be a wide-open affair, with both teams trying to get a win to send them home on a high note. 

The thing I feel most confident about in this match is Barbara Banda running under one of those long balls and getting a goal for Zambia. So Banda anytime goalscorer is the play. 

PICK: Barbra Banda anytime goalscorer (bet $10 to win $21 total)

Is Sweden a team the USWNT must AVOID in the World Cup?

Is Sweden a team the USWNT must AVOID in the World Cup?

Alexi Lalas and David Mosse react to Sweden’s 5-0 victory over Italy in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Canada vs. Australia, 6 a.m. ET Monday, FS1 and the FOX Sports app

Australia to win (+120)

Australia’s shocking loss to Nigeria means the Matildas must win to advance to the knockout round. And despite doubts regarding the availability of Sam Kerr and Mary Fowler, I believe they will. 

Even without those two, Australia was far more dangerous against Nigeria than Canada was (26 shots, 15 corners, two goals). 

On the flip side, I just can’t get all the way there with Canada. 

Canada didn’t have many dangerous chances against Nigeria. Then a foolish own goal by Ireland allowed Canada back into the match, where it ultimately got the second-half winner in the best half it has played so far. I think Australia, buoyed by the home fans, responds to the challenge and moves on in this spot.

PICK: Australia to win (bet $10 to win $22 total)

Republic of Ireland vs. Nigeria, 6 a.m. ET Monday, FS1 and the FOX Sports app

Nigeria win or draw and Under 3.5 goals (-117)

Ireland probably deserves better than zero points from two matches, as a sloppy penalty vs. Australia and a clumsy own goal vs. Canada altered those matches.

Nigeria, though, should be able to get at least a point here to advance. That team has shown it can eliminate final third chances — as it did vs. Canada — and play a lower-scoring-type game. Or it can capitalize despite not having a ton of the ball, as was the case vs. Australia.

PICK: Nigeria win or draw and Under 3.5 goals (bet $10 to win $18.55 total)

Chris “The Bear” Fallica has covered sports for nearly three decades. While college football has been his focus, he also enjoys the NFL, Soccer, Golf, Tennis, MLB, NHL and Horse Racing, with an “occasional” wager on such events. Chris recently won the inaugural Circa Football Invitational and finished in the Top 10 of the Golden Nugget Football Contest. He’s a multiple-time qualifier for the NHC Handicapping Championship. Remember, “The less you bet, the more you lose when you win!” Follow him on Twitter @chrisfallica

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